Purchasing a new telescope but which one?
Selecting and buying the right telescope really boils on on your budget!
Choosing which telescope to buy?
- what you plan on spending the most time viewing.
- where you will using your telescope most at.
- see some guidelines below to help for understanding.
- first telescope and on a budget – buy a Dobsonian reflector.
- interested mostly in viewing planets? – buy a refractor.
- interested in viewing galaxies, nebula, and star clusters? – buy the biggest reflector you can afford; this will be a Dobsonian.
- concerned about portability and weight but want a good all-around telescope – buy a Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope.
- want absolute quality and money is no object? – buy an apochromatic refractor – this should also be your choice if you are serious about astrophotography!
- As a first telescope, a 6″ or 8″ – maybe 10″ Dobsonian reflector offers great bang for the buck. On the refractor side, an 80mm on a stable mount is also an OK alternative first telescope.
- Plan on spending a minimum of £300 for a decent beginner’s telescope.
- Get an oversized/overrated mount – telescope mounts MUST be sturdy.
- Stick with 1.25″ size eyepieces at a minimum, stay away from 0.965″ designs, but recommend 2″ size eyepieces.
- Get a size and weight that you don’t mind setting up or lugging around to remote sites.
- Select 2 (or 3) quality eyepieces and a Barlow lens. Low-cost but acceptable-quality eyepieces include Kellners and Plössls.
- Get a single-power, reflex finder “scope” such as a TelRad.
Do not buying Telescopes
- Don’t buy a telescope from a department store, nature-science store or toy store – these are totally unsuited for astronomy and will end up unused or in the trash.
- Don’t buy any telescope that costs less than £300.
- Stay away from 0.965″ size eyepieces – 1.25″ eyepieces are a minimum.
- Avoid getting so large and heavy of a telescope that you don’t want to use or transport it around.
Other information tip
Back to `Astronomy` page.